in the high grass

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 20, 2007

Don't miss Fr. Richard Neuhaus's post on the First Things blog concerning what he calls "the deep realignment of religious, cultural, and political dynamics resulting from [Roe v Wade]." The role played by U.S. Catholics in the drama was, and is, exasperatingly double-edged. When it comes to abortion, the vocational role-reversal is almost total: Catholic politicians have tended to be uncompromising on the issue (both pro and con), whereas the key bishop-players have been masters of ambivalence. Two excerpts:

What the bishops like to think of as their fraternal solidarity was badly shaken when it appeared that, in the meeting of the bishops' conference, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, then archbishop of Washington, misrepresented to them a communication from then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI). As it turned out, Ratzinger had said that, when all pastoral efforts of persuasion failed, it would be appropriate to advise those who publicly and persistently reject the Church's teaching that they should refrain from Communion and, if they still refused to do so, to deny them Communion.

And here's what Neuhaus says about New York's most prominent pro-abortion Catholics, Rudolph Giuliani and George Pataki:

Note that the politicians in question in these instances are not struggling with the moral questions involved or trying to reconcile their position with the Church's teaching. At least there is no public evidence of such struggle, nor any suggestion by the bishops that their longstanding and adamant support for the unlimited abortion license should be a matter of concern.

In a word, we are an Easter People.

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  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2007 6:31 PM ET USA

    Yeah, Charles. The bishs are quaking over our righteous anger. (Forget God's wrath.) McCarrick loves to turn the liturgy into a Rotarian schmooze fest - eg, National Shrine, March for Life last year:"let's hear it for Archbish Luigi d'Italiano Vaticanissimo, our super nuncio! Now, let's clap for my buddy Cardinal Keeler.." so on.. He does it *every* time. That's what I call orthopraxis. Aplaudin' the bishs- it's all bout them, eh? Easter people? Pshaw, I'm a Pascha person! Get it straight.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 21, 2007 8:54 AM ET USA

    Let us not forget to include the movie that the bishop's ought to watch also,"The Eclipse of Reason".

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 9:40 PM ET USA

    So great to see fellow Catholic militants rally around Pope Benedict and those loyal to him and taking a strong stand in the big battle between the Gospel of Life against the Culture of Death, the latter which unfortunately has blindly or otherwise sucked in many of our brothers and sisters -- including Catholics. I'd hope those who are betraying the shepherd and the flock are lurking on sites like this and waking up to the fact that many of us angry that they stick up for the wrong folks.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 3:42 PM ET USA

    What about Catholic lawyers who solicit divorce business? Do we say that these couples are going to divorce anyway, someone will make money out of it, so it might as well be me? Do they make sure that the Bishops have been consulted and pastoral counseling been received? I'll bet the not all Catholic divorces are for the protection and civil support of the spouses and children.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 3:19 PM ET USA

    Oh, and before I forget: Please stand for the Creed.

  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Jan. 20, 2007 2:56 PM ET USA

    At the next Bishops meeting, I hope someone makes them all watch the movie, "SILENT NO MORE and SILENT SCREAM!" And when the Bishops get home, they'll make all the adult Catholics watch it in their Cathedrals before Mass.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 1:21 PM ET USA

    Obviously, neither the fear of God nor the love of Christ will move the pro-abortion Catholic politicians to repent. They stand as living witnesses for the position that Church teaching in matters of faith and morals is not true. By continuing to give them the precious Body and Blood of Our Lord, the bishops and priests who approve the practice are de facto confirming their witness. These Catholic men and women are apostates as are the priests and bishops who refuse to excommunicate them.

  • Posted by: Charles134 - Jan. 20, 2007 1:06 PM ET USA

    I just pray it's lack of backbone on the part of our bishops. I fear it's not poor leadership, but excellent leadership-in the wrong direction. McCarrick had the temerity to (it really looks like) lie to his brother bishops-no lack of guts there! Our bishops weather the righteous anger of the most faithful of the faithful and continue to give cover to pro-aborts. Our bishops are heroes. They're just not OUR heroes.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 11:24 AM ET USA

    Archbishop Wuerl is a close replica of Denethor from Lord of the Rings.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 9:45 AM ET USA

    Consider the literary form of the ambivalence from Abp Wuerl: Reporter: “Will you make a statement to your priests and deacons to warn them not to allow [Pelosi] to receive if she presents herself for Communion?”Wuerl: “You’re talking about a whole different style of pastoral ministry. No.” Here is a refusal to do battle on behalf of the Church and moral good. Unfortunately these are the types being promoted. The Hole See allows this episcopal ambivalence to continue by its own self-paralysis.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 9:38 AM ET USA

    The lack of firm leadership by our Bishops is nothing more than a reflection of the general lack of leadership and adherence to rules and law which is epidemic in our society as a whole. As a nation, including the Church in this nation, we have given way to the desire to be liked at all costs. One form of pursuing such a goal is to try to be all things to all people and to never say or do anything that might be "upsetting". Unfortunately that is not what true leadership is all about.

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 8:54 AM ET USA

    What about the many Catholic physicians who prescibe artificial contraceptives, often without even discussing as an alternative a method of NFP? Should they be encouraged to refrain from communion? This is a real question. I've never heard or read of any teaching from any of our clergy on this matter (that I can remember). Maybe the Real Presence is thought of as less than real?

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 8:50 AM ET USA

    Christ cared little for politics or politicians, and with good reason. Plus ca change...

  • Posted by: - Jan. 20, 2007 6:45 AM ET USA

    Three cheers for Father Neuhaus. It seems our good bishops are too 'timid' to ever take a stand for the unborn. With a few notable exceptions like Bishop Bruskewitz and a handful of others; we see documents and statements from the useless USCCB but no action. God forbid the USCCB should upset our "Catholic" politicos who are pro abortion. The unborn deserve the full weight of the Church Militant not the USCCB's timidity!